Wednesday, 22 May 2024

King’s biographer defends Bridgerton star’s ‘terribly white’ Coronation comment

Adjoa Andoh has been defended by a biographer of King Charles after the Bridgerton actress said the scene of the Royal Family standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony looked “terribly white”.

Catherine Mayer, author of the 2015 book Charles the Heart of a King, was sitting next to Andoh when she made the comment on ITV’s Coronation coverage, and nodded approvingly when the remark was made.

Mayer has re-iterated her support of Andoh’s comments, tweeting: “As the woman who was sitting next to Adjoa Andoh and nodding in agreement, I can only nod again.

“The irony is that those launching racist attacks in supposed defence of King and country instead undermine the man, the monarchy and the UK.”

Andoh, 60, who is best known for portraying Lady Danbury in the steamy Netflix favourite, made an appearance as a guest pundit during the ITV coverage.

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She said: “There is a bit of me that thinks we have gone from the rich diversity of the abbey to a terribly white balcony.

“I am very struck by that. I am also looking at those younger generations and thinking, ‘What are the nuances that they will inhabit when they grow?’”

The Times reports that 4,165 complaints were received by Ofcom about the comments, taking the crown of the most complained about broadcast moment of the year so far.

Andoh recognised the criticism she had received the next day, when she appeared on Radio 4 and assured host Paddy O’Connell that any offence caused was unintended.

She told him: “I upset a few people yesterday. I was talking about the day and how marvellous it was.

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“Then looking at the balcony at the end I suddenly went, ‘Oh, it’s so white’— because the day had been so, so mixed.

“I didn’t mean to upset anybody.”

She later spoke to The Guardian, telling them her observation was not “particularly original”.

She added: “Sitting in the warmth of that intentionally wide embrace, I was simply caught by the visual shift on the balcony.

“I continue to celebrate the King who created the Prince’s Trust, loves the arts, cares for all faiths and for the future of our environment, as he has done for many decades.

“It’s an exciting moment in our history.”

A point of praise for the ceremony has stemmed from the diversity on display in the Abbey, with the coronation guests coming from a variety of backgrounds.

The service featured a reading by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, and a performance by the Ascension Choir gospel singers.

More than 3.5 million people tuned in to ITV’s coverage, which was fronted by presenters including Nina Hossain and Charlene White.

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